More firms registered in the Netherlands, but rise is due to self-employed

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The number of companies established in the Netherlands grew by 5% last year but most of the increase was due to the self-employed, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

In total, there were 1,665,795 companies in the Netherlands at the end of last year, a rise of 78,500, nearly all of which were eenmanszaken. The number of firms with two to nine employees fell for the fifth year in a row to 280,000.

There was, however, a rise of 3,120 in the number of companies with a workforce of more than 250, the highest increase since 2009.

Self-employment has soared in the Netherlands in the past few years. The CBS said last year that roughly 1.8 million people in the Netherlands work as either full or part-time freelancers.